Veterans Arts Showcase at the Library of Congress with Matthew Krousey, Judas Recendez, Ehren Tool

Veterans Arts Showcase at the Library of Congress with Matthew Krousey, Judas Recendez, Ehren Tool


The Veterans History Project is the
first time I feel like I’m giving back. I am the widow of a veteran. I’m the
daughter of a veteran. I’m the sibling of veterans and I’m a veteran myself but
it’s the first time I’m really giving back. We reach out to veterans across the
nation and we ask them to talk to the veterans in their lives and their
communities because veterans tend to be hidden in plain sight but if you listen,
really listen to their stories you’d be amazed at what you hear. Democracy is at
the center of the whole effort behind the Veterans History Project. This is the
nation’s library. This is your library. This is about giving the narrative back
to the people who were there who witnessed it firsthand. We gather
first-person narratives in the form of original photographs, letters, diaries,
journals, that sort of thing and these bits begin to share that first-person
experience of a veteran. We talked about how do we kick off our 20th anniversary.
Is there something we can do with the arts and the fact that we have three
well-known potters here at the library choosing to share their work with us is
simply amazing. You know in a lot of ways I feel like it’s another form of
documenting. You know before there was paper, there was clay and people would
make marks on the clay and record things and I feel like I’m doing the same thing
just kind of little notes to the future. Right, these cups will last 500,000 to a
million years and they’ll be basically the same thing. You know put it down,
pick it up in 500,000 years and nothing has changed so it’s kind of like little love
notes or just documenting things that are happening that, you know like the wars. When you asked me to come to the Library
of Congress I really felt the need to come and in the arts I’ve always felt
that vets are kind of underrepresented because after World War
Two, a huge number of vets went to art school in the G.I. Bill and especially in
the clay field, Warren MacKenzie, Peter Voulkos like big movers and shakers in the clay
world and I just felt a need to come represent that group. Not only being a
veteran but also being here to be asked it’s a huge honor and a privilege, I mean
I don’t know any other individual who wouldn’t want to do their form of
artwork you know in the Library of Congress so great opportunity, huge honor
so I was like oh yes I’ll definitely do that.

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